As classes ended for the day, the smell of sugar and flour filled the second floor of Hillel Monday. Two hours later, the room resonated with lively Israeli music and the sound of stomping feet.
Hamantaschen for Hunger and an Israeli dancing class kicked off Hillel Week, a week of events that will “allow people to see everything that goes on” in the Hillel community, Hillel President and College junior Josh Belfer said.
The week includes one or two events each day such as a board-game tournament on Wednesday that will help raise money for the American Cancer Society along with Relay for Life. In addition, volunteers from the Hillel community will be giving out breakfast and snacks, which contain fun facts about Hillel, on Locust Walk and in front of the Quadrangle throughout the week.
Belfer stated that he wanted to reach people in as many ways as possible through these endeavors and to make everyone who participates in Hillel Week feel comfortable and invited. “Everyone who comes is welcome,” he added.
The hamantaschen, Purim pastries made on Monday by about twenty students in the Shotel Dubin Auditorium, will be among the snacks sold to the Penn community. Hillel’s Tzedek, or Social Justice Sector, will donate the proceeds to a charity that benefits the hungry called Yad Eliezer.
While kneading the dough, College freshman Ben Freedman called the event a “great community service opportunity.” He added that he wishes he “had more time to be more involved” in other events at Hillel.
A lack of time may not be the only issue, though. “All these kinds of things happen all the time, but no one knows,” Engineering junior Casey Gelber said. She added that this week was all about “getting the word out” about what Hillel has to offer, a sentiment that was shared by many in attendance.
College senior and Co-chairwoman of the Orthodox Community at Penn Kelly Finkelstein, who helped organized the hamantaschen for Hunger event, echoed the thought, hoping this week will “get people more excited about Hillel.” While discussing the events of the week, she said they were a good opportunity to “talk about Hillel and why we love it so much.”
Hillel Week ends with “The Purim Crawl” Saturday night, a block party among the Hillel community celebrating the Jewish holiday. Other events of the week include “This I Believe,” a discussion of personal beliefs about God as well as Shakshooka and Hooka night on Thursday.
As for future Hillel weeks, Belfer looks ahead optimistically. “I hope this is the first of many.”Comments powered by Disqus
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